When I was in college getting my degree in ceramics I had this idea for my thesis (or final) project. I wanted to make 100 ornate unique bowls, each hand carved, hand painted, and one-of-a-kind. It was inspired by the idea that potters sometimes become mass producers and crank out form after identical form. I wanted to master creating one specific form, but it gave me the chills to think about making the same thing over and over. So I found a happy compromise. In the three months I had to prepare my thesis (along with my full load of classes) I made 70 bowls. Of those about 50 made it into the show. I was very proud of what I did, and I knew that I worked so hard and had truly done my best, but it has always nagged at me that I didn't create the 100.
I graduated in 2004 and didn't make ceramics for awhile. I worked various jobs, started a craft business called ReLove Projects, and eventually found my way back to clay. I took an evening adult class through The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation, and loved working with clay again. But I was juggling too much with a full time job and raising my young daughter. I was frustrated by how little time I could spend on clay and ended up only making a few things. My time was unfocused, undisciplined, and very scattered. I think I made a few mugs, perhaps a bowl or two. I definitely wasn't able to put the time into it that I wanted to- or needed to for it to be worthwhile. So I took another break. A few years later I found myself in a totally different place of my life. I was an art teacher and had many pockets of time, my daughter was older and more independent, I had a successful partner who was willing to support my passion and pay for classes. So I took another class and this one was a much better experience. I decided that I would focus on making mugs. Mugs are something that everybody uses, there are so many variations in form, size, handles, and they were small enough that I could make LOTS! And I did! I brought clay home and worked on my kitchen table. I went to as many open studio sessions as I could. Then I took another class and made more mugs. Mugs, mugs, mugs (and a few side projects like an octopus bowl and an owl bank). I would go to work, come home, set up my clay stuff and work into the night. It was rare that my kitchen table didn't have clay on it. I turned my dining room shelf into a dry space. Clay was taking over!
I am lucky to have a very supportive father who loves building things. He noticed the clay taking over the house and built me a studio in the back yard.
And now here I am- I have my studio space where I can get messy and create, I have my love of clay and desire to make things, I have my kiln, but I need some focus, a project to work towards. My idea is to make 100 unique mugs. All 100 will be carved and stamped and hand painted... I'm still developing it- I need to figure out exactly what supplies I need, how much that will cost, and about how long it will take. Then I will need to figure out how to fund the project. Right now I'm selling the mugs I created in class, and slooooowly paying for necessities for my studio, but I have a long way to go. My ultimate dream is to be able to support myself with pottery, and I think it'll be achievable... Someday. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to move forward?